Daily Archives: December 16, 2019

Medicine or myth? The dubious benefits of placenta-eating – Salon

Posted: December 16, 2019 at 6:46 am

When Brooke Brumfield wasnt battling morning sickness, she craved nachos. Like many first-time expectant mothers, she was nervous and excited about her pregnancy. She had just bought a house with her husband, a wildland firefighter who had enrolled in paramedic school to transition to firefighting closer to home. Everything was going according to plan until 20 weeks into Brumfields pregnancy, when she lost her job at a financial technology startup and, with it, her salary and three months paid maternity leave. After building a new business to support her family, she had clients, but childcare was limited, and her husbands schedule was always shifting. By the time her baby arrived, everything was beyond overwhelming, Brumfield says. I pretty much felt like a truck hit me.

Brumfield had heard stories from friends and family about a way to minimize the stress and emotional fallout of the postpartum period: consuming her placenta, the vascular organ that nourishes and protects the fetus during pregnancy and is expelled from the body after birth. The women swore by the results. They said their milk supply improved and their energy spiked. The lows caused by plummeting hormone levels didnt feel as crushing, they explained.

Brumfield enlisted her doula who, for a fee, would steam, dehydrate, and pulverize her placenta, pouring the fine powder into small capsules. She swallowed her placenta pills for about six weeks after delivering her daughter. She said they helped her feel more even, less angry and emotional. When her milk supply dipped, she says, I re-upped my intake and [the problem] was solved.

Social scientists and medical researchers call the practice of consuming ones own placenta placentophagy. Once confined to obscure corners of alternative medicine and the countercultures crunchier communities, it has been picked up by celebrities (Kourtney and Kim Kardashian, January Jones, Mayim Bialik, Alicia Silverstone, Chrissy Teigen) and adopted by the wider public.

Although there are no official estimates of how many women ingest their placenta after delivery, the internet is increasingly crowded with placenta service providers preparers of pills, smoothies, and salves to support new mothers in the slog to recovery. But the purported benefits are disputed. Depending on whom you ask, placenta-eating is either medicine or a potentially dangerous practice based on myth. How did this practice go mainstream, despite a lack of reported scientific or clinical benefits? The answer may say much more about the world new mothers live in than it does about the placenta.

* * *

In any doctors office or primary care setting, a provider treating a patient will often mention new research that supports a recommended treatment. A pregnant woman diagnosed with preeclampsia, for example, might learn from her health care provider that low-dose aspirin has been shown in recent studies to reduce serious maternal or fetal complications. But the basis for placentophagy, a practice that lies beyond the boundaries of biomedicine, is a 16th-century text.

Li Shizhens Compendium of Materia Medica, or Bencao gangmu, first published in 1596, is a Chinese pharmacopoeia and the most celebrated book in the Chinese tradition of pharmacognosy, or the study of medicinal plants. It appears on the websites of placenta service providers and in the pages of the standard references for practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a millennia-old medical system with a growing global reach.

A physician and herbalist, Li drew on his empirical experiences treating patients but also on anecdotes, poetry, and oral histories. His encyclopedia of the natural world is a textual cabinet of natural curiosities, according to historian Carla Nappis The Monkey and the Inkpot, a study of Lis life and work. Containing nearly 1,900 substances, from ginseng and peppercorn to dragons bone and turtle sperm, Lis book describes dried human placenta as a drug that invigorated people, and was used to treat impotence and infertility, among other conditions. For advocates of placentophagy, this book serves as ethnomedical proof of the long-standing history of the practice and by extension, its efficacy and safety.

But like many claims to age-old provenance, the origins of placentophagy as a postpartum treatment are disputed. Sabine Wilms, an author and translator of more than a dozen books on Chinese medicine, scrutinized classical Chinese texts on gynecology and childbirth and told me theres no written evidence at all of a woman consuming her own placenta after birth as a mainstream traditional practice in China, even if formulas containing dried human placenta were prescribed for other conditions, as described in Lis book.

Beyond Lis 400-year-old encyclopedia, evidence of postpartum placenta-eating is nearly impossible to find in the historical record. Womens voices are notoriously difficult to unearth from the archives, and even in the 19th century, the details of childbirth and what happened to the placenta went largely unreported. But when two University of Nevada, Las Vegas anthropologists pored over ethnographic data from 179 societies, they discovered a conspicuous absence of cultural traditions associated with maternal placentophagy.

The earliest modern recorded evidence of placentophagy appears in a June 1972 issue of Rolling Stone. I pushed the placenta into a pot, wrote an anonymous author, responding to the magazines call asking readers to share stories from their personal lives. It was magnificent purple and red and turquoise. Describing her steamed placenta as wonderfully replenishing and delicious, she recounted eating and sharing it with friends after delivering her son.

Raven Lang, who is credited with reviving the oldest known and most commonly used recipe for postpartum placenta preparation, witnessed placentophagy while helping women as a homebirth midwife and TCM practitioner in California in the early 1970s. These women lived off the land, she explained, and might have drawn inspiration from livestock and other animals in their midst.

It wasnt long before placentophagy made its way beyond Californias hippie enclaves. In 1984, Mary Field, a certified midwife and registered nurse in the U.K., recounted eating her placenta, an unmentionable experience, to ward off postpartum depression after the birth of her second child. I remain secretive, Field wrote, for the practice verges on that other taboo cannibalism as it is human flesh and a part of your own body. She recalled choking down her own placenta. I could not bear to chew or taste it.

* * *

The rise of encapsulation technology, developed for the food industry and picked up by placenta service providers in the early aughts, put an end to visceral experiences like Fields. No longer must women process their own placenta or subject themselves to its purported offal-like flavor. Tidy, pre-portioned placenta pills resembling vitamins can be prepared by anyone with access to a dehydrator, basic supplies, and online training videos.

The boom in placentophagy highlights a longstanding puzzle for researchers. Almost every non-human mammal consumes its placenta after delivery, for reasons that remain unclear to scientists. Why did humans become the exception to this nearly universal mammalian rule? For Daniel Benyshek, an anthropologist and co-author of the UNLV study that found no evidence of placentophagy being practiced anywhere in the world, the human exception raises a red flag: It suggests the reasons that humans have eschewed placentophagy arent just cultural or symbolic, but adaptive that theres something dangerous about it, or at least there has been in our evolutionary history.

Scientific data on the potential benefits and risks of placentophagy is scarce, but a few small studies suggest that any nutrients contained in cooked or encapsulated placental tissue are unlikely to be absorbed into the bloodstream at concentrations large enough to produce significant health effects. Whether and in what quantity reproductive hormones such as estrogen survive placental processing has been little studied, but ingesting them after birth could have negative effects on milk production and may also increase the risk of blood clots.

Yet placental encapsulation services which remain unregulated in the U.S. have found a receptive audience of American consumers. (The food safety agency of the European Union declared the placenta a novel food in 2015, effectively shuttering the encapsulation business on the continent.) Mostly small and women-owned, placenta service businesses position themselves as an alternative to a highly medicalized, bureaucratized birthing process that has often neglected the needs of women. Postpartum checkups focus narrowly on pelvic examinations and contraceptive education. One survey of U.S. mothers found that one in three respondents who received a postpartum checkup felt that their health concerns were not addressed. In contrast, placenta service providers speak the language of empowerment.

That language can resonate with new mothers like Brumfield, who face overwhelming pressures to care for a newborn, nurse on demand, manage a household, and return to work amid anxieties about postpartum depression, dwindling energy, and inadequate milk supply.

In some ways, placenta consumption is motivated by a desire to perform good mothering, wrote scholars from Denmark and the United States in a paper on the emergence of the placenta economy. It reflects the idea of maternity as a neoliberal project, in which new mothers are responsible for their own individual well-being as well as that of their babies, they added.

Meanwhile, rates of postpartum depression keep climbing, maternity leave policies are stingy, and child care costs are often prohibitive. Its easy to see why many women would be eager to seek help, real or perceived, wherever they can find it.

* * *

Daniela Blei is a historian, writer, and book editor based in San Francisco.

This article was originally published on Undark. Read the original article.

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Medicine or myth? The dubious benefits of placenta-eating - Salon

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Certain Foods Can Cure Infections (In The Lab, That Is…) – Forbes

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Foods in test tubes, studio shot.

A recent Forbes article discussed how minestrone soup could stave off growth of a particular type of malaria. No, this did not mean that we should forget about being excited about a potential new malaria vaccine or no longer take malaria pills when traveling to malaria-ridden regions. Nor did it mean that treating malaria would now become a gourmet endeavor for discerning palates. But the concept was interesting: a science teacher engaged students in an experiment, and found that compared to other soups (yes, soups), minestrone in particular had the strongest ability to prevent growth of the organism causing malaria. In a test tube, that is.

Other foods have also been found to reduce bacteria and stave off illness, but again, this has been in the laboratory, not necessarily in the gut, respiratory tract, urinary tract, or skin. Lets take garlic. Some like it, some dont. But using garlic in its pure form or as an extract has become increasingly popular, especially for those exploring alternative medicine options. Its potential uses have ranged far and wide, including treatment of chronic illnesses such as diabetes mellitus and heart disease, as well as infections ranging from bacteria, fungi, and cold viruses. The active antimicrobial component of garlic is allicin, which acts to inhibit enzyme activity necessary for bacterial growth and replication. While studies on garlics benefits have been extensive, and many both in and out of the laboratory have been positive, there continues to be need for longer term trials and placebo-controlled studies to assess its actions. The larger studies, to date, have been in the lab. Or perhaps in the kitchen. A study looking at the antibacterial effects of garlic on hamburger meat, specifically limiting growth of the bacteria staphylococcus aureus, demonstrated that adequate amounts of garlic extract added to hamburger meat kept these nasty bugs out for up to two months when refrigerated. If you like garlic-flavored hamburgers, then this is certainly a good way to go. Tasty, and staphylococcus-free!

Minced beef on a cutting board with spice on wooden background

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has also had its day in the limelight when it comes to various medicinal properties. Besides its potential benefit in reducing growth of cancerous tumors, it has also been investigated regarding properties including anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal effects. Many of the results regarding curcumins effects have remained in the laboratory, with clinical trials still pending. The most promising work in curcumins anti-bacterial effect has been in combating growth of helicobacter pylori, a bacterial pathogen which contributes to gastritis and gastric ulcers. But even in this setting, curcumin was found to be beneficial only when combined with existing medications to treat this disease.


Probably the most storied food to help rid us of viruses in real time, not just in lab time, has been chicken soup. Most of us who grew up with chicken soup to treat colds and coughs probably never thought about its contents being studied in a lab. Grandmas kitchen perhaps, but never in a pulmonary and critical care department in a major hospital. But almost two decades ago, a group at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha took the soup to the lab. What they found was that the components of the soup, including the vegetables as well as the chicken, were able to reduce the activity of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell which becomes active and proliferative during infections. The inhibition of this type of cell may help to reduce inflammation associated with respiratory illnesses. Even more interesting, there was a substantial difference on impacting neutrophils from brand to brand. Some brands were almost as effective as just plain tap water, and some reduced the neutrophil count by almost 100-fold.

Chicken noodle soup (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Dr. Paul Krogstad, Professor of Pediatric Infectious Disease at the Mattel Childrens Hospital UCLA and Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, has seen his share of antibiotic overuse throughout his career, and finds many of these in vitro (meaning in the test tube, not in the person) studies interesting. He notes that there may, indeed, be many food components that show such effects on neutrophil activity or inhibition of bacterial growth, including curcumins and garlics effects on bacteria. But if I have malaria, I am going to take the World Health Organizations advice and take a medication, Krogstad states. While we are in the throes of the negative results of antibiotic resistant infections, Dr. Krogstad notes that they still have their place, but only when absolutely needed: I use no antimicrobials when not needed, and prefer carefully chosen ones for illness. As for the soup, its a healthy food, and it cant hurt.

As so many foods are carrying claims of cure-alls, or at least cure-somethings, most of the investigative work thus far has been in small studies, many of which were sponsored by the food manufacturers themselves. The larger studies have been in the laboratory, not in the human. While there certainly can be real benefit from many of these consumed components, for now, stick to whats tested, and keep the soup as a healthy bonus. After all, according to an infectious disease specialist, it cant hurt.

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Certain Foods Can Cure Infections (In The Lab, That Is...) - Forbes

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Opioid addicts seek alternative treatment in Mexico – ABC Action News

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SAN DIEGO People across the country are crossing the border to Mexico, hoping an alternative form of therapy will cure their addiction to opioids.

One former addict shared his story with Scripps station KGTV in San Diego. He asked that he only be referred to as Bob.

"I had been to traditional rehabs throughout my life, mostly against my will," said Bob.

He said he got hooked on painkillers after multiple injuries due to skateboarding and snowboarding.

His addiction quickly escalated. He started using heroin when he was fourteen.

"One day, I only had $10 or $15, and a friend told me, why you gonna waste your money on half of a pill? It's not going to do anything for you. You're going to be sick. Why don't you just get heroin? Just that "H-word" has a stigma attached to it, and I was like, I shouldn't, but financially, it made sense, cause when I did a $5 bag of heroin, it did the exact same thing as $120 worth of "Oxy's", so it was kind of a no-brainer to make the switch," said Bob.

He bounced in and out of rehabs, but always caved to the withdrawals.

"It's just like the flu times 1,000. It's a really miserable experience, and a lot of times, you feel like you're going to die," said Bob.

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He was 23 years old and living out of his car when he agreed to try an alternative treatment.

He heard about a clinic in Rosarito, Mexico that was treating addicts with Ibogaine. Ibogaine is described as a psychoactive alkaloid that comes from the shrub, Iboga, in West Africa.

Ibogaine is illegal in the United States; classified as a Schedule I drug, or a drug with a "high potential for abuse" and "no currently accepted medical use."

In Mexico, Ibogaine is unregulated. There are a handful of clinics providing the treatment just across the border from San Diego.

"When the medicine kicked in, it was very different than let's say, eating LSD or magical mushrooms," said Bob.

Ibogaine is given in capsule form. Patients can hallucinate for more than 24 hours.

"My experience was tough. It wasn't easy, but it needed to be that way. It wasn't an enjoyable experience," said Bob.

He described seeing a snapshot of his life while under the influence of the drug.

"It pulled me out of my body and brought up these high definition bubbles that would just pop up and disappear, pop up and disappear, with images with motion video inside of them."

He said he was forced to look at his life from a different perspective.

"They were focused on all the negative things I had done in my life. I had really hurt my family, my friends, did awful things to people and myself," said Bob.

During the treatment, he was hooked up to a heart monitor and under the care of a medical staff.

That was eight years ago. Bob says he's been clean ever since. He said the physical cravings for drugs were gone almost immediately, but mentally, he still had work to do.

"You're never going to forget how good a high feels like, you're stuck with that curse for life, but what Ibogaine does, it gives you the option of whether you have to react on that urge or not."

He said Ibogaine is not a cure. Aftercare is critical to long-term recovery.

"It's never going to make you forget your go-to easy coping mechanism of "Oh, I can make this problem temporarily go away by getting high, but it gives you a window of opportunity."

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Thomas Kingsley Brown, Ph.D., runs an undergraduate program at the University of California at San Diego. Unrelated to his work at the school, he's been researching Ibogaine for a decade. In 2010, he conducted a study with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) on the outcomes of people who received Ibogaine for the treatment of opioid addiction.

"Ibogaine is really helpful for taking away the withdrawal symptoms that you would ordinarily get when you stop using the opioids," said Kingsley Brown.

According to Kingsley Brown, Ibogaine can reduce drug use after just one treatment, unlike the years it can take to be weaned off of Methadone or another replacement drug.

"It doesn't act in the same way that the standard treatments do; those are replacing the opioid at the receptor site and letting your brain continue trying to receive that type of action. Ibogaine doesn't do that," said Kingsley Brown.

Patients report experiencing a "wake up call" of sorts while undergoing treatment.

"They realize all the harm they've been doing with their addiction. Sometimes they'll have insight into the roots of their addiction, and they come out of that with this sense that they can stop using and they change their lives. I think that makes a really big difference," said Kingsley Brown.

The drug doesn't come without risks. It can be fatal for people with heart problems and other pre-existing conditions. There are also dangerous drug interactions.

According to MAPS, "over 30 fatalities temporally associated with the ingestion of Ibogaine have been reported in the published peer-reviewed scientific literature."

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Nancy Knott is a Carlsbad based Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She specializes in addiction. She does not recommend Ibogaine.

"It creates a psychosis, which can be so absolutely life-threatening and mentally threatening to a developing brain, or any brain, for that matter," said Knott.

She is skeptical about claims that one treatment of Ibogaine will end years of addiction.

"The belief is that the person will have less of a withdrawal and an early start in recovery. None of that is anything I, or most professionals, would subscribe to because treating addiction involves many, many, things on every spectrum," said Knott.

Treatment costs usually start around $5,000. It is only legal in New Zealand, Brazil, and South Africa.

"I think it should be made available as a legal treatment. I don't think it should be widely made available like a dispensary, because people won't really know how to use it safely. It should really be administered by someone who knows what they're doing, but it should be made available," said Kingsley Brown.

According to the County Health and Human Services Agency, one out of every eight San Diegans has a substance use disorder, but about 90 percent of those suffering from addiction do not access treatment.

Bob and other former addicts say any risk associated with Ibogaine is worth it.

"Every time you stick a needle in your arm, it's just as dangerous as traveling to a foreign country or doing a drug that could potentially be dangerous. Heroin is far more dangerous than Ibogaine."

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Low blood pressure is a risk and should be taken seriously – Chicago Daily Herald

Posted: at 6:46 am

We all know that high blood pressure increases the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke but rarely is information presented on the risks of low blood pressure. A number of medical studies have claimed little or no serious medical risk associated with low blood pressure with serious medical risk only being defined as a heart attack and stroke. Other medical studies suggest that low blood pressure does increase the risk of coronary artery disease, falling and even increases the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. In both traditional and on-traditional medicine, low blood pressure is usually ignored even if there are clinical findings of the blood pressure being too low.

The medical risks of chronic high blood pressure are now well defined. But it was not always the case. At the turn of the century, high blood pressure was so common in the elderly that it was considered the natural result of aging. The famous Framingham Heart Study (1949-1952) showed that those with a systolic blood pressure over 159 had a three to six times increased of heart disease. Since then the relationship between high blood pressure and illnesses has been clearly delineated. As a result, many medications are available to lower high blood pressure are available and numerous lives saved.

Low blood pressure is not uncommon but with the increasing use of medications, not limited to blood pressure medications, low blood pressure has become a relatively common. Besides high blood pressure medications, drugs often used for Parkinson's disease, depression/anxiety, sedative-hypnotics, pain medications and muscle relaxants all can cause low blood pressure. This effect can be intensified when specific medications are used in combination.

There is limited clinical research on low blood pressure but two recent medical studies are pertinent today. One large study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine looked at the risk of falls and loss of consciousness in almost one half a million people with low blood pressure. The concluded that a systolic blood pressure less than 110 significantly increased the risk of serious falls and loss of consciousness.

Another study in the Indian Heart Journal found that there is an increased risk of atrial fibrillation in people who had a history of dizziness with standing (serious low blood pressure). Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that increases the risk of blood clots, stroke and heart failure. It most commonly occurs in the elderly as does low blood pressure. Interestingly high blood pressure is also a risk factor for atrial fibrillation. In this study low blood pressure also increased the risk of stroke and a 50 to 100 percent increased mortality rate probably secondary to a higher incidence of coronary heart disease and heart failure.

Traditional therapy for low blood pressure includes graded exercise, generous salt intake and caution going from sitting/laying to standing. I have found that a critical review of a patient's medications, select herbs and regular meditation can be curative. Low blood pressure should be taken as seriously as high blood pressure.

Dr. Patrick Massey, M.D., Ph.D., is medical director of complementary and alternative medicine at Alexian Brothers Hospital Network, and president of ALT-MED Medical and Physical Therapy, 1544 Nerge Road, Elk Grove Village.

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Complementary and Alternative Medicine Market 2019 Rising Demand and International Forecast Scope Led by Top Key Players – Daily News Gazette

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Complementary and Alternative Medicine Market 2019 Rising Demand and International Forecast Scope Led by Top Key Players - Daily News Gazette

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E-cigarettes linked to lung problems, first long-term study on vaping finds – NBCNews.com

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The first study on the long-term health effects of electronic cigarettes finds that the devices are linked to an increased risk of chronic lung diseases, according to research published Monday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The findings are expected to confound theories that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative for long-time adult users of tobacco.

The study included 32,000 adults in the U.S. None had any signs of lung disease when the study began in 2013.

By 2016, investigators found people who used e-cigarettes were 30 percent more likely to have developed a chronic lung disease, including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema, than nonusers.

"E-cigarette use predicted the development of lung disease over a very short period of time. It only took three years," said the study's author, Stanton Glantz, of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education of the University of California, San Francisco.

While the study's focus was on people who vaped nicotine, it's possible some may have also vaped THC products, Glantz said.

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Those who smoked regular, combustible cigarettes had a higher risk of developing chronic lung diseases than those who used only e-cigarettes. But the study also found many adult smokers who tried e-cigarettes ended up using both forms of tobacco.

"Most adults who use e-cigarettes continue to smoke," Glantz told NBC News. "And if they do that, they get the risks of the smoking plus the risk of the e-cigarette."

Combining regular and e-cigarettes more than tripled the risk for developing chronic lung diseases, the study found.

The research adds to a growing body of evidence that vaping can cause physical harm, whether it's chemical burns to lung tissue, toxic metals that leave lasting scars on lungs, vitamin E oil that clogs lungs or even overheated batteries that explode.

The illnesses described in the new research are different from the recent spike in vaping-related illnesses, called EVALI, or e-cigarette or vaping associated lung injury. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 2,409 cases across all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Despite months of investigation, no single cause has been identified to explain all of those cases. Carrier oils, such as vitamin E acetate, heavy metals, flavorings and other toxins have all been implicated. The vast majority of cases have involved vaping marijuana's psychoactive ingredient, THC. And in many cases, counterfeit vapes were used.

One factor that's complicated the EVALI investigation is that many patients report using many different products. According to the CDC, EVALI patients have reported 152 THC vape brands.

A separate study published Monday, also in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that the trend of using a variety of products extends to teenagers who vape.

Researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center analyzed data from a 2017 survey, which included 14,560 teens. Twelve percent said they had vaped within the previous month. Three-quarters of those kids reported having vaped nicotine, marijuana or multiple substances. The rest said they'd only vaped flavors.

That same survey repeated this year found that the number of teenagers who vape had doubled from 2017.

"Continuous surveillance of youth behaviors and strategies and interventions to reduce youth e-cigarette use are needed," Mohammad Siahpush, a co-author of the research and an associate dean for research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center's College of Public Health, said in a news release.

"The truth is that no form of tobacco is safe," he added.

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Erika Edwards is the health and medical news writer/reporter for NBC News and Today.

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Changing the face of the game | UDaily – UDaily

Posted: at 6:46 am

Article by Kelly Bothum Photo and video by Ashley Barnas December 12, 2019

Women account for 55 percent of the athletic trainers worldwide, but they are still relatively rare in the National Football League. During the 2019 season, just eight of the 32 teams have a female athletic trainer only two more than last season.

In the future, students like University of Delaware athletic training majors Erin Finley and Jordan Del Bianco could help the NFL bolster its female ranks. The two seniors were among seven UD students interning for NFL teams during the summer of 2019, getting an inside look at what athletic trainers in the NFL do on a daily basis.

Finley interned with the Los Angeles Rams during their training camp while Del Bianco spent her summer with the New York Jets.

Its incredible to be part of a revolution of women in the NFL. Its empowering to work with women and be collaborating as a team, said Del Bianco, who was among five women working on the Jets athletic training staff during her internship. The experience is hard to put into words. Its really amazing to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself.

Finley traveled to Los Angeles in July and spent training camp with the team, even participating in preseason games. She quickly learned her internship would be more than just watching the team from the sidelines. Though the days were long many stretching 12 hours the opportunities were plenty.

I thought we would be setting up the field, which we did. But we were also responsible for the day-to-day tasks to keep the place going, said Finley, who works with the womens basketball team at UD. We also got to get involved with the rehab with the players and the taping and the things they needed during practice.

Like Finley, Del Bianco was surprised interns were fully integrated as a key part of the training staff. She and the other interns handled player treatments before and after daily practices and preseason games. Del Bianco said her previous experience working with UDs football team served her well while she was with the Jets.

I was definitely a leader in some aspects, taking charge whenever things needed to be done because I had football experience last fall, said Del Bianco. Some of the interns didnt have football experience so I was kind of helping them along with what to expect. I definitely felt like UD prepared me well.

Although plenty of UD athletic training students have interned in the NFL over the years, it wasnt until 2017 that one of the students was a woman. For a program that with such a strong female presence the athletic training Class of 2014 was all women it was perplexing, said Thomas Kaminski, director of the Athletic Training Education Program, part of the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology in the College of Health Sciences.

Breaking through that was difficult, Kaminski said. In every other setting, female athletic trainers are thriving the collegiate setting, high school setting, clinical setting but for some reason professional football was really hard to crack.

Megan OHanlon was the first female UD student to intern in the NFL. She spent eight weeks with the Buffalo Bills in 2017. The next year, Courtney DeFeo spent the summer interning with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Being an intern trainer with an NFL team is not for the faint of heart, said Kaminski said. He should know Kaminski interned with the Buffalo Bills in 1983 while a student.

Its a lot of long hours, its tedious hard work, but again, the exposure they get to a professional athletic trainer and physical therapist is really second to none, he said. They see a lot, they are able to interact with those professionals and with the professional athletes who are at the highest level and really hone their skill set.

Although Del Bianco enjoyed her time interning in the NFL, she intends to pursue a career in alternative medicine after graduation. Her goal is to use her athletic training foundation as part of a holistic approach to treatment.

For Finley, the summer experience with the Rams sparked an interest in working fulltime in the NFL. She is applying for a year-long intern position with the Rams after graduation that would last the duration of the NFL season.

Its honestly so nice seeing female athletic trainers working in the NFL. Even a few years ago, it wasnt as common, Finley said. Its great to see that is a possibility and know I was part of that.

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Is Weed Really a Good Alternative to Alcohol? – Rewire.org

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Jason, 32, has never been a big fan of alcohol.

I drank a couple times in my early 20s and it was not for me from the beginning, he said. It wasnt very fun; it didnt taste good at all.

But Jason who asked that we not use his last name has Crohns disease. With that comes chronic pain, and theres no cure.

About five years ago, he developed a resistance to his medicine and could no longer take it. Thats when he started self-medicating with cannabis.

Jason lives in Minnesota, where medical cannabis is legal for his condition. But it comes with an annual $200 registration fee, and isnt covered by insurance.

It is so much cheaper to buy off the street, he said. Since Im such a lightweight thats about every three months, and its about $40 to $80.

Since he started regularly using the drug three years ago which is illegal recreationally in his state he says his symptoms have gone back into remission.

He smokes weed three or four nights a week. He still has no urge to drink. But he likes the way weed makes him feel. Its much more relaxing, he says.

Just as young adults are drinking less alcohol than previous generations, theyre using more marijuana.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuses 2018 Monitoring the Future survey, marijuana use is the highest its been in three decades. Eight percent of folks aged 19 to 28 use cannabis daily, more than triple the percentage in 1992.

Meanwhile, binge drinking in the same age group dropped nearly 4 percent over the past five years, a decrease the researchers called significant.

Most recently, this phenomenon has been documented in the media as a calculated lifestyle choice: Cali sober.If youre Cali sober, youuse cannabis, but dont drink alcohol.

There are lots of reasons people choose to go Cali sober. Somecant stand the hangoversthey get and prefer the feeling of being high to the feeling of being drunk.

Others, like Jason, use it to self-medicate for chronic pain, or sleep disorders, or anxiety.

Cannabis is more legally accessible than it was in 1992. Since 2012, 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Some believe cannabis to be a safe, natural alternative to other drugs.

But researchers like R. Lorraine Collins say its not that simple.

People have embraced the use of cannabis because its got this reputation for being natural, said Collins, associate dean for research at the University at Buffalos School of Public Health and Health Professions.

But the fact that its natural doesnt mean it would not produce harm if used in certain kinds of circumstances.

Collins was part of a landmark report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on the health effects of cannabis.

The key areas where the National Academies review of cannabis showed health benefits were related to reducing chronic pain, reducing nausea related to chemotherapy in cancer treatment, and helping with some forms of spasticity, she said.

The review found moderate benefits related to improving short-term sleep, for sleep apnea, fibromyalgia and some symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

The medical conditions that qualify for medical marijuana are much broader than that list and vary state by state.

Of course, most people who use cannabis dont do it for the health benefits. They do it for the high.

In 2013, just 17 percent of folks who used cannabis did it medically.

Eleanor, 27, is one of the 83 percent who use cannabis strictly for fun.

For the past year and a half, shes been almost completely alcohol-free, save for a drink or two, like when her boss handed her a glass of wine at a social function without asking.

But she uses marijuana about once a month.

For me, the feeling of being high and buzzed are sort of comparable, but with weed I dont experience the nasty side effects that I get with alcohol, she said.

Eleanor says she has a sensitivity to alcohol that causes painful stomach cramps and digestive issues. Its only gotten worse as shes gotten older.

I tend to be an over-thinker, and weed helps me calm down and get out of my head, which is an effect that isnt as present with alcohol, she said.

Eleanor asked to use a pseudonym for this article. Shes an American living abroad, in a country where cannabis is not legal.

I really dont like to think that Im self-medicating through substances, so I try to use only recreationally and not because I need to, she said.

I do occasionally catch myself thinking Oh man, I would really like a joint after a long week, but I dont have my own supply or anything.

That means she only uses it with friends, which isnt often. She likes that its not attached to her mental, physical or emotional state.

[ICYMI: Why Some People Are Getting Sober-Curious]

For Eleanor, weed is a good alternative to alcohol at social gatherings.

But Collins says there are still health concerns that come with using the drug that folks might want to take into account.

Long-term, smoking weed is linked to breathing problems and, over time, lung damage. Pregnant folks who use cannabis areat risk of delivering a baby with a low birth weight.

And though cannabis overdoses arent fatal, too much can still send you to the emergency room especially with the ascent of edibles, which can pack a punch. Sometimes, the serving size isnt clear.

In adolescents and young adults, cannabis has been linked to poor memory and attention span. And for people who already have a history of psychosis, marijuana can trigger psychotic episodes.

Just as folks who overuse alcohol can develop alcohol use disorder, folks who use cannabis can develop marijuana use disorder, characterized by craving, withdrawal, lack of control and negative effects on personal and professional responsibilities.

The other challenge? We dont know nearly as much about cannabis as we do about alcohol. While we focus on THC, which provides the high, and CBD, there are more than 100 other unique chemical compounds called cannabinoids in the plant.

CBD, the cannabinoid that exploded in popularity after the 2018 farm bill loosened restrictions on hemp, has been touted by sellers as a miracle oil for everything from chronic pain to acne to depression. But there isnt research to back that all up.

For many years there was little or no funding for cannabis research, Collins said. And I dont know, maybe the feds thought, if we ignore it, it wont happen.

What it means is that were playing catch up. We have policies that have opened up medicinal and adult use of cannabis. And we dont understand many facets of the drug.

Theres no standard cannabis product. So when there is funding for cannabis research, the drug that is studied is different than many versions of the drug that might be on the street, or sold in stores. There might be a different ratio of THC to CBD. Or the studied drug might be less potent.

And, because recreational legalization of the drug is new, many folks dont get the same education about dosage and serving size that they might get about alcohol. Theres no one shot = one glass of wine = one glass of beer equivalent in the cannabis world.

Typically what is provided in a public health message is to start with lower THC and smaller amounts until you have a sense of how you react, Collins said.

Despite all the unknowns, the stigma around cannabis use has toned down. Public opinion has turned.

In 1969, just 12 percent of folks believed marijuana should be broadly legalized. In 2019, that number is 67 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.

Jason and Eleanor say most of their friends dont give their smoking a second thought.

Ive gotten more pushback for not drinking than for smoking weed, Eleanor said. I guess because the drinking culture is so ingrained.

Gretchen is an editor for Rewire. With past stints in public radio and at a rural daily newspaper, shes passionate about public media as a public service. Shes also into music and really good coffee. Follow her on Twitter @gretch_brown.

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Ayurveda without fear – The New Indian Express

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Express News Service

I recently lost my dearly beloved brother-in law because in the end there was more faith in the efficacy of western medicine even when it had really nothing to offer. While an initial surgery certainly helped to slow the growth of cholangiocarcinoma with admirable support from ayurvedic and Tibetan medicine, a follow-up surgery five years later did not prove to be useful. Making choices becomes difficult when faced with incurable illnesses.

Questions are always posed to alternative medical practitioners that are almost never asked of western medical practitioners. Can you guarantee a cure? Will you take responsibility for the consequences? I did not find any such questions being asked of our western medicine-practising surgeons and physicians. In fact, there was a certain reluctance to pose difficult questions and also there was this willingness to believe that all would turn out right even when the evidence was to the contrary.

What I found amazing was the arrogance of allopaths who believed that if they did not have a solution, no other system could possibly have a solution. How did we get to the stage where we are so willing to go with western medicine and all its drawbacks and not even explore other alternatives? Is it because of a well-orchestrated media campaign by western pharma to belittle other medical systems so that they dont lose out? Or is it that we are still slaves to the white man and his philosophy? Or is it that we as a community of believers in ayurveda have not sufficiently educated the opinion makers?

It grieves me that I am often unable to overcome deeply held beliefs in western medicine and people die because they are unwilling to look at alternatives. It constantly surprises me that people cannot look at logical arguments and believe that a disease trajectory is not dependent on ones lifestyle or dietary patterns.

When you are recovering from a major surgery, where there have been complications, does it make sense to undertake long plane journeys to another continent? Western trained doctors do not have any notion of the pathya or apathya concept which is so important in ayurveda. In ayurveda, each disease is studied according to its nidana, samprapti, sampraptighataka, bheda, chikitsa and pathya/apathya regimens.

Basically the cause of the disease is studied in detail. Rarely do the texts say it is idiopathic. Detailed explanation regarding the nidana and hetuthat are the causesare spelt out. The patho-physiology of the disease is dealt with in amazing detail considering that many of these texts were written 2,000 years ago. After a detailed discussion of the disease pathway and the way the digestive fire has been affected, details regarding treatment are given. The options are plenty. Many combinations of herbs, minerals and metals are spelt out so that different options are available for people of different prakriti.

The section on pathya/apathya spells out in great detail the diet choices the patient should make: what can he eat and what he should avoid. In similar fashion, the classics spell out the activities he can undertake. Can the patient travel riding a camel? Can he travel on a bumpy road? Can he walk around in the sun exposing himself to the hot rays and sweating profusely? Can he sleep during the day? The patient has to conduct himself in a manner that does not aggravate the disease and helps in his convalescence and recovery.

This section is so important that in a discussion of the treatment of a disease, if the ayurvedic student fails to write about the pathya and apathya to be followed, he will be penalised quite substantially. Some of these general principles of medicine, which are quite logical but somehow seem alien to our countrymen, need to be retaught. It is time we introduced some basic concepts of ayurveda, siddha and unani in our school curriculum so that we become a healthier nation.

The writer is retired Additional Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu. She can be reached at sheelarani.arogyamantra@gmail.com/arogyamantra.blogspot.com

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TMJ Disorders Market 2020 Eyeing Significant Growth due to Increasing Awareness of Oral Health | Estimated to reach USD 1229.1 million by 2023 -…

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(MENAFN - GetNews) TMJ disorders market information: diagnosis (physical exam, imaging tests, and others), by treatment (medications, therapies, and others), by end user- global forecast till 2023

Market Analysis

The global TMJ disorders market is anticipated to touch USD 1229.1 million at a 3.9% CAGR between 2017-2023, states the latest Market Research Future (MRFR) report. TMJ or temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, simply put, are a medical condition that causes pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint along with the muscles which control the jaw movement. It is more common in the case of women than men. Trauma to the joint or jaw plays a vital role, but there are other health conditions as well, which may cause TMJ disorders such as structural jaw issues present at birth, habitual clenching or grinding of the teeth, erosion of the joint, and arthritis. Pain while chewing, pain or tenderness in jaws or aching facial pain are some of the common symptoms of TMJ disorders.

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Various factors are propelling the TMJ disorders market. Such factors, according to the latest Market Research Future report, include burgeoning demand for advanced diagnostic devices as well as treatment, easy accessibility of medicines, the introduction followed by prompt adoption of advanced diagnostic devices, increasing awareness of oral health, rising healthcare expenditures, and increasing incidence of TMJ disorders.

On the contrary, low per capita healthcare expenditure in the low and middle-income countries and lack of awareness about TMJ disorders are factors that may impede the TMJ disorders market growth during the forecast period.

Market Segmentation

The Market Research Future report offers a complete segmental analysis of the TMJ disorders market based on diagnosis, treatments, and end user.

By diagnosis, the TMJ disorders market is segmented into imaging tests, physical exams, and others. The imaging tests segment is again segmented into TMJ arthroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), x-rays, computerized tomography (CT) scan, and others.

By treatments, the TMJ disorders market is segmented into alternative medicine, surgical or other procedures, therapies, medications, and others. The medications segment is again segmented into muscle relaxants, tricyclic antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, and others. The therapies segment is again segmented into counseling, physical therapy, mouth guards or oral splints, and others. The surgical or other procedures have again been segmented into open-joint surgery, modified condylotomy, TMJ arthroscopy, injections, arthrocentesis, and others. The alternative medicine segment is again segmented into biofeedback, relaxation techniques, acupuncture, and others.

By end user, the TMJ disorders market is segmented into medical research centers, academic institutes, ambulatory surgery centers, hospitals and clinics, and others.

Regional Analysis

By region, the TMJ disorders market report covers the latest trends and growth opportunities across the Americas, the Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa. Of these, the Americas will remain the driving force in the market during the forecast period. US is the chief contributor in this region as more than 10 million people are suffering from it in the US alone. Besides, accessibility of trained health professionals, clinical trials and ongoing research associated with TMJ disorder, and advanced medical facilities are also adding to the growth of the TMJ disorders market in the region. In the countries in Latin America, awareness of TMJ disorders is boosting the market growth.

The TMJ disorders market in Europe will have the second-largest share in the market during the forecast period. Various factors are propelling the growth of the TMJ disorders market in the region such as extended insurance cover, well-aware patients, skilled medical professionals, ongoing research by academic institutes and medical research laboratories, and availability of advanced therapeutic and diagnostic options.

The TMJ disorders market in the APAC region will grow at the fastest pace during the forecast period. Various factors are propelling the growth of the TMJ disorders market in the region such as affordable healthcare facilities, growing support from the government especially for effective public healthcare, a growing number of insurance users, increasing awareness about TMJ disorders, and increasing middle-class people as well as their spending on healthcare and healthcare-related services.

The TMJ disorders market in the MEA will have an average growth during the forecast period for limited accessibility of needed healthcare facilities and a lack of awareness about TMJ disorders. The Eastern countries will have a faster growth rate compared to African countries for increasing healthcare expenditure and accessibility of advanced medical facilities.

Key Players

Notable players profiled in the TMJ disorders market report include Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (India), Pfizer Inc. (US), Jubilant Cadista (US), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (US), Bayer AG (Germany), Allergan (Republic of Ireland), and AbbVie Inc. (US), among others.

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TMJ Disorders Market 2020 Eyeing Significant Growth due to Increasing Awareness of Oral Health | Estimated to reach USD 1229.1 million by 2023 -...

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